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Numbers 22-24 – The story of Balaam and his donkey

The Israelites encamp around the valley of Moab and this concerns Balak.

Decides to send princes with the fee for divination to summon Balaam to curse Israel.

Num 22:7-13 The elders of Moab and Midian left, taking with them the fee for divination. When they came to Balaam, they told him what Balak had said.  “Spend the night here," Balaam said to them, "and I will bring you back the answer the LORD gives me.”  So the Moabite princes stayed with him.  God came to Balaam and asked, "Who are these men with you?"  Balaam said to God, "Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab, sent me this message: 'A people that has come out of Egypt covers the face of the land. Now come and put a curse on them for me. Perhaps then I will be able to fight them and drive them away.' "  But God said to Balaam, "Do not go with them. You must not put a curse on those people, because they are blessed."  The next morning Balaam got up and said to Balak's princes, "Go back to your own country, for the LORD has refused to let me go with you."

Then Balak sends other princes, greater in number and more distinguishable.

Balaam goes back and asks God a second time, and God tells him to go, DO only what I tell you.

Balaam gets up the next morning and leaves, and God is very angry.

An angle stands against Balaam three times, 1- in the road with sword drawn and his donkey turns course into a field, 2- on a narrow path between two vineyards and donkey presses Balaam’f foot against a wall, 3- on a narrow path without way to pass by and donkey lays down.  Each time Balaam beat her….Angel instructs Balaam to SAY only what he tells him to say.

Numbers 22:28-34 Then the LORD opened the donkey's mouth, and she said to Balaam, "What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?"  Balaam answered the donkey, "You have made a fool of me! If I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now."  The donkey said to Balaam, "Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?"  "No," he said.  Then the LORD opened Balaam's eyes, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.  The angel of the LORD asked him, "Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me.  The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If she had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared her."  Balaam said to the angel of the LORD, "I have sinned. I did not realize you were standing in the road to oppose me. Now if you are displeased, I will go back."

Upon arrival, Balak brings Balaam to three different places to curse Israel.  Oracles…1- blesses through divination, and Balak questions his blessing rather than curses, 2- blesses through divination and Balak asks that he neither bless nor curse, 3- through the Spirit blesses and is told he would get no reward.

Balaam’s 4-7 oracle speaks a prophecy of Christ Jesus and Israel, then curses Moab and their allies.

Num 24:9b"May those who bless you be blessed and those who curse you be cursed!"

There are some things that you need to consider and realize concerning God’s word and this historical event…Balaam was not a man of God.  The Bible would not refer to him as it does if he were.

Numbers 31:16 "They were the ones who followed Balaam's advice and were the means of turning the Israelites away from the LORD in what happened at Peor, so that a plague struck the LORD's people.


Deut 23:4-5 For they did not come to meet you with bread and water on your way when you came out of Egypt, and they hired Balaam son of Beor from Pethor in Aram Naharaim to pronounce a curse on you.  However, the LORD your God would not listen to Balaam but turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the LORD your God loves you.

Josh 24:9-10

Neh 13:2

2 Peter 2:15 They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness.

Jude 1:11Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam's error; they have been destroyed in Korah's rebellion.

Rev 2:14 Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality.

Deut 18:9-13 When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there.  Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.  Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you.  You must be blameless before the LORD your God.

Matt 7:20-23 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.  "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?'  Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

When you hear God speak the first time, don’t re-question or reword the matter.

When you do, there are serious questions about your motives that need to be addressed.

He talked to the donkey and thought nothing of it speaking to him.

Then his eyes are open and he sees the angel.

Then he claims he has sinned…..because he did not realize that there was an angel there all along.

Then he asks if he should turn back….Angel tells him to say only what he is told.

He already did not listen to the DO ONLY part originally spoken by God Himself, so now he can only speak in obedience.

In the end, the only thing Balaam received from his entire experience was his life being spared.

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